A devastating 10 minute spell by Ballyboden St. Enda’s in the final quarter eventually saw off a spirited and determined Cuala side in this entertaining Division 1 hurling league game in perfect conditions in Firhouse. Ballyboden scored a blistering 3-3 during that period and this was ultimately the difference between the two sides at the death. Cuala however never gave up and outscored their much-vaunted opponents by 1-2 in the dying minutes of this highly entertaining encounter.
A DEVASTATING 10 MINUTE SPELL IN THE FINAL QUARTER BY THEIR MUCH-VAUNTED OPPONENTS, DENIES CUALA A WIN IN THEIR FIRST HURLING LEAGUE OUTING IN DIVISION 1
U15 LEAGUE DIV 1: ROUND 1 – SUNDAY 3RD MARCH 2013, BALLYBODEN ST.ENDA’S
CUALA 2-5; BALLYBODEN ST. ENDA’S 4-11
The score-line does scant justice to a Cuala side that outplayed and outperformed their bigger opponents for most of the game. From the start Cuala took the game to Ballyboden with a resilience and determination that will stand them well in the matches to come in Division 1. Boden who boast 7 players on the Dublin development squad, were shell-shocked when, with 4 minutes on the clock, Stevie McDonnell latched onto a cross from Mickie Wylde on the right to tap the ball past the hapless Boden keeper. Cuala were in total control when Diarmait Maas clipped over a point in front of goal following good work by Emmett Murphy in mid-field. Joe Mahony’s physical presence caused a world of difficulty for the Boden centre-back and Cuala were hunting in packs and hooking & blocking to frustrate the blue-and-whites all over the pitch. On 16 minutes, McDonnell under all sorts of pressure, put over the score of the game from 70m way out on the touchline. When on 20 minutes Murphy clipped over a long-range free after man-of-the-match Mark O’Treasaigh was upended, Cuala were leading 1-3 to 0-3 and looked in control. Boden didn’t expect this onslaught!
The Cuala half-back line of James Murphy, Fionn O’Drisceoil and Jack Hartnett were outstanding throughout. They blocked and tackled everything that moved in blue-and-white. Danial Johnson who was playing as an extra mid-fielder, swept in behind the half-backs and swallowed up anything that broke through. Murphy and Maas at midfield played clever ball into the inside forwards. Brian Coronella at fullback was a tower of strength supported by Tiarnan Lane and Thomas McCarthy in the corners. He never put a foot wrong and returned ball after ball into the Cuala attack. Ryan de Felice was as cool as a cucumber in nets. He made some important saves at critical times and his puck-outs were landing on the Boden 21’.
However the sustained effort from Cuala was beginning to take its toll. Mahony had to move into full-forward with a leg injury and the intensity and stamina shown in the first half began to wane. The Cuala players began to noticeably tire and management looked to the bench. Cuala were missing 4 of their regulars but the 3 substitutes made an immediate impact. Loran McGrath scored a real opportunist goal and Quinner made a point for O’Treasaigh who never took his foot off the accelerator in a game where he was the best forward on show. Conor Newman got to grips with his opponent and never let him win a ball. Despite their best efforts, the Boden mid-field & half-backs began to win ball and the game eventually swung in Boden’s favour. In that 10 minute ‘purple patch’ in the second half the game turned and Boden ran out winners on a scoreline of 4-11 to 2-5. The 3-3 was the difference.
Footnote: These Cuala players are made of stern stuff. They will learn quickly and bring a different approach to their next encounter. In the second round of the league, Cuala play at home to Clontarf on Sunday 24th March. They are already mentally preparing for the next battle !
Team: Ryan De Felice, Thomas McCarthy, Brian Coronella, Tiarnan Lane, James Murphy, Fionn O’Drisceoil (0-1 free), Jack Hartnett, Diarmait Maas (0-1), Emmet Murphy (0-1 free), Michael Wylde, Joe Mahony, Mark O’Treasaigh (0-1), Steven McDonnell (1-1), Fionn Myers, Danial Johnson.
Substitutes: Cormac Quinn for Fionn Myers (35 mins), Conor Newman for Thomas McCarthy (40 mins), Lorcan McGrath (1-0) for Steven McDonnell (50 mins).